BBC iPlayer Viewers Will No Longer Be Exempt From TV Licence
Television owners who use their set only for streaming live BBC iPlayer will soon face the same licensing fee as full time Freeview and subscription TV viewers.
In a new plan unveiled by the government yesterday, it’s about to become illegal for anyone to use the Beeb’s popular internet-based on-demand service for live broadcasts without paying an annual fee of £145. This means if you watch live sports or top telly like Doctor Who as it is being aired you could be slapped with a fine if found using without a licence. However, for the moment, if you only use BBC iPlayer for the occasional catch-up after the show has been broadcast then you’ll still be able to dodge the fare.
The rather sudden (and rather annoying) news comes as the British Broadcast Company seeks to regain some of its lost revenue which is reported as at least £100million. This has primarily come about in the first place by the BBC offering so much of its telly content through a free-to-use online platform and making it accessible on so many devices. Despite its widespread availability and unlimited streaming to all and everyone the BBC and Culture Secretary John Whittingdale consider using the iPlayer service without a TV license as exploiting a ‘loophole’ that needs to be closed as soon as “practicable”. And it’s believed to be happening by the summer. Culture secretary stated “The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it”. He adds “Giving a free ride to those who enjoy Sherlock or Bake Off an hour, a day, or a week after they’re broadcast was never intended and is wrong.”
A secondary part of this legislation will eventually see the license fee extend to catch-up TV via BBC iPlayer as well as watching programmes live.
It has always been said that BBC will never charge for use of iPlayer. But one way or another it seems they’re coming for your money anyway. Looks like it’s time to look under those sofa cushions for any lost change.